Original source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24076246?dopt=Abstract
Cognitive unbinding: a neuroscientific paradigm of general anesthesia and related states of unconsciousness.
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2013 Dec;37(10 Pt 2):2751-9
Authors: Mashour GA
“Cognitive unbinding” refers to the impaired synthesis of specialized cognitive activities in the brain and has been proposed as a mechanistic paradigm of unconsciousness. This article draws on recent neuroscientific data to revisit the tenets and predictions of cognitive unbinding, using general anesthesia as a representative state of unconsciousness. Current evidence from neuroimaging and neurophysiology supports the proposition that cognitive unbinding is a parsimonious explanation for the direct mechanism (or “proximate cause”) of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness across multiple drug classes. The relevance of cognitive unbinding to sleep, disorders of consciousness, and psychological processes is also explored. It is concluded that cognitive unbinding is a viable neuroscientific framework for unconscious processes across the fields of anesthesiology, sleep neurobiology, neurology and psychoanalysis.
PMID: 24076246 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]